The Victoria landmark was forced to evacuate both patrons and staff when a fire broke out during lunch on Wednesday.

Fire crews were initially called to reports of a kitchen fire at Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouse in Vic West, but when they arrived heavy smoke and flames could be seen rising from the roof.

The fire broke out at approximately 1:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon and firefighters were forced to scale the roof in order to attack the blaze, which had already begun to eat away at chimney soffits by the time crews arrived.

“It started in the chimney. (The) second floor got going outside the chimney; its been going through the roof through various spaces and it’s just moving rapidly,” Victoria Fire Battalion Chief Bob Jones told CHEK News at the scene.

“We almost lost the whole second floor but we finally got it isolated through cutting a lot of holes and just trying to figure out where (the fire) was going. It was a good save just to save the roof, so I think we got it under control finally, but it was a real tough fire.”

The Spinnakers location is a heritage building with a portion first constructed in 1884 before it became the spot that locals know now, in 1984. The older building proved difficult with hot spots moving through crawl spaces as firefighters attempted to isolate what turned out to be three small fires. 

“We lost it a few times and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from,” Jones added, saying crews will have to tear down a lot of drywall on the second floor. 

The full extent of damage is still to be determined, but it’s expected to be quite extensive. However, there is some good news as the main floor was not seriously damaged. 

Fire began in chimney

Spinnakers general manager confirmed that the fire began in the chimney of the pub when employees noticed smoke coming from the fireplace. 

“We immediately got everybody out of the building. We had our maintenance guy check the roof and it was indeed a chimney fire so I called 911 right away,” said Claire Radosevic.

It’s still too early to say how long the brewpub will be closed until staff are able to speak with firefighters and assess the damage, but longtime customer Eric Gelling was shocked at the news.

“I sure hope they’re able to save it so they can re-open. Whatever happens, I sure hope they can get it back together. I hope its going to be saved that’s for sure, it looks like a huge amount of damage.”

No injuries were reported in the evacuation.

 

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CHEK News